San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Zimmermann went the distance, tossing a two-hit shutout as Washington claimed a 6-0 victory over San Diego in Sunday's rubber match of a three-game series.
Zimmermann (5-2) was perfect through 5 1/3 innings, until allowing a single to Alexi Amarista in the sixth. He ended up with a career-best 12 strikeouts, failed to issue a walk, and his only other blemish on the day was a Seth Smith triple in the seventh.
Ian Desmond clubbed a two-run homer, while Danny Espinosa added three hits and two RBI for the Nationals, who scored six times over the first three innings to win for the seventh time in their last nine.
"The guys got me some runs early, so my mentality changed to pour strikes in the zone," Zimmermann said. "It was fun putting up the zeroes."
Eric Stults (2-7) was tagged for six runs on eight hits over just 2 1/3 frames for the Padres, who have dropped five of seven.
Denard Span started the game by doubling, stole third and scored on a Kevin Frandsen grounder.
Washington tallied twice more in the second when Ryan Zimmerman led off with a hit and Desmond stroked his second two-run homer in as many games.
It was 6-0 in the third. Frandsen, Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche all singled with the latter pushing across a run. Zimmerman lined out but after Desmond singled, Stults was pulled for Tim Stauffer, who served up a two-run hit to Espinosa.
"It was a tough hole to dig out of, especially with a guy like Zimmermann pitching the way he was," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Zimmermann cruised from the start, setting down the first 16 batters he faced. Amarista singled with one away in the sixth, but pinch-hitter Tommy Medica and Everth Cabrera fanned.
Smith was stranded in scoring position as Zimmermann retired Carlos Quentin on a grounder, Chase Headley on a pop to third and Yonder Alonso on a liner to center.
San Diego went quietly in both the eighth and ninth innings.
Zimmermann tossed his sixth career complete game and third career shutout ... The 28-year-old right-hander is just the second in Expos/Nationals history (Jeff Fassero 6/29/96) to toss a complete-game shutout while allowing two hits or less and fan at least 11 batters ... Zimmermann also recorded his fourth career 10-plus strikeout game of his career ... Stults worked the shortest outing of his career.